The Attack on Russia
Facts should be enough to revert the West’s image of Russia. Personally, I cannot help feeling so much sympathy for Putin and the Russian people, given that I know all the facts and care about justice. What we see is an attack, and it can be explained. One explanation, but not the only explanation, is Russia’s nationalist politics. But there is more that must be mentioned to understand why Russia is being attacked in what can actually be called a demonization campaign.
Few can claim that Russia has not become a kind of punching bag. Many liberal journalists cannot seem to wait to take every opportunity they have to write something negative about Putin and the Russian people. One reason for this attack is of course because they have gone the furthest in Europe in dismantling liberal democracy – which happened because they simply had to break away from Western power structures to maintain their country’s sovereignty.
The liberal image of Putin and the Russian people, however, does not hold against a closer examination. In the West they are portrayed as if they threaten world peace with their actions and undermine the United Nations, for instance when they used their veto right in the Security Council in connection to Syria. The truth is that the United States has used its veto right more times than Russia, and if Russia was ever to start a war against the West, it would be only when the Russians elect as president some disorientated schizophrenic.
The Need of an Enemy
One country that has gone quite far in attacking Russia is Sweden. Nothing seems to prevent their journalists and politicians to talk excessively about the danger of Russia, arguing that Sweden must join NATO to protect itself, and consequently abandon its neutrality, which it has had for over 200 years. Even the Cold War could not change the importance of neutrality in the Swedes’ eyes, but now liberal journalists and politicians warn them every week about the supposed threat from Russia. These are the same liberals some of whom, by the way, wanted to invade Iraq together with George W. Bush.
The truth is that the Russians are being used as a political football, or an opportunity to promote liberal interests. In the case of Sweden, it is about liberal journalists’ and politicians’ eagerness to join NATO, an organization that really has nothing to do with protection anymore. Rather, it is the organization which is all about sustaining a strong partnership between the United States and Europe, and keeping the Europeans under American hegemony. When everything comes around, it has more to do with the economy than one might think.
In the case of the Americans and their attack on Russia, it is a way to justify having a military budget larger than most countries put together. Here interests and lobby organizations should be noted. Such is the military-industrial complex. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about it in his 1961 farewell address to the nation, because he was worried about the growing size and cost of the American defense. The military-industrial complex was actually something widely discussed by journalists and academics during the 1960s and 1970s, but then the discussion diminished until the end of the Cold War. This just proves how true is the famous “Cabaret” song, “Money Makes the World Go Round”.
Such powerful interest, where only money and influence means something, had a great role in Russia as well – that is, before Putin came along. What he did was to fight these interests, making many enemies along the way. Just like Orbán, Putin had “quick fixes” by which he made Russia powerful again: and the Russians are still paying the price. But one who actually knows what Putin did when he came to power would find it hard not to feel sympathetic.
The Rise of Russia
Among the first of Putin’s actions when he came to power was to deal with the problem of Russian oligarchs. These were people who had acquired huge wealth during the privatizations and practically ran Russia, including its media. They were also widely disliked by the people, since they became rich in a dishonest and not entirely legal way, and were generally seen as robbers of the nation.
They would have been prosecuted and convicted for what they had done in any country in the West, but in Russia they stayed free – even under Putin. What he did was to hold a meeting with them, in which he gave them immunity. And all they had to do was to promise that they would not meddle in politics. Most were glad to obey, but the one who did not, the famous oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was promptly arrested in 2003 for fraud and tax evasion: something that led to mass criticism of Russia – as did the shutdown of certain media that were, in fact, only tools of some oligarchs, used for spreading lies and political propaganda.
This is just one example of what Putin did when he got Russia on its feet and made it powerful again. To say that Russia was on the brink of collapse is an understatement; it had already collapsed, before Putin came in and saved it. Otherwise it would have been today in the hands of corrupt businessmen – nothing but just another colony of the West.
Demonizing the Russians
The best way to describe what is taking place in the West in relation to Russia, is an ongoing demonization, because Putin’s politics does not suit the interests of the Americans and in particular the neo-liberals. This is why all imaginable means are used in this demonization, even twisting of history to suit the image of Russia as some evil, ominous creation.
One could, for instance, perfectly well put in a context and explain the Soviet interference in Poland in 1939, the subsequent Katyn tragedy as well as crimes against civilian population after the liberation from the Nazis. But thanks to this demonization, Putin and the Russian people end up looking like the worthy heirs of Hitler’s nationalist legacy. Given that Poland and Russia had been at war with each other for centuries, and Poland had invaded Russia a couple of decades before, it is not so difficult to explain these events; but in the West they serve just one purpose – to spread the desired image of Russians as an aggressive and dangerous people.
Today the primary concern is to portray them as guilty of “crimes against international law” because of Ukraine. But it is enough to compare the return of Creimea into Russia with the United States’ invasion of Iraq for all the hypocrisy to become apparent. How little criticism there is now of the ongoing chaos in Iraq raised in the name of liberal principles as opposed to the Crimea case done on the basis of nationalist principles! By digging up more facts on the issue of the crisis in Ukraine, for instance from the documentary “The Masks of Revolution” by Paul Moreira, one will see only more proof of this attack on Russia.